Managing the arrival and housing of foreign workers has been challenging in British Columbia in the era of COVID-19. Looking ahead to next year, BC’s ministry of labour has announced that all employers of foreign workers must register with the government by December 15, 2020.
“Temporary foreign workers are integral to our agricultural sector and B.C. relies on them for important jobs like harvesting the crops we depend on for our daily meals and to build our province’s food security,” said Lana Popham, agriculture minister. “The new registration requirement for employers will help ensure foreign workers are fairly treated.”
This employer registry is the final step in implementing the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, passed in fall 2018. Last year, B.C. established a licensing requirement for recruiters of foreign workers and launched the recruiter registry. Approximately 150 recruiters in B.C. are licensed and in good standing.
These actions, like the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, the recruiter registry and the employer registry provide transparency into recruiting, hiring and employing foreign nationals. These changes strengthen the protections government has put in place, make it easier to find employers who mistreat workers and level the playing field for law-abiding employers.
With this new process, BC joins the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia that have registration requirements for employers of foreign workers.
The Mexican consulate in Vancouver anticipates that 6,000 workers will have worked in the province by the end of 2020.
Source: BC Ministry of Labour September 19, 2020 news release